Florida Produce: Carrots
Another one of those commodities that Florida is not known for growing is the carrot. Grown mainly in Orange County, Florida carrots are available from November through June.
How to buy
Carrots should be well-formed with a smooth skin and a solid orange color. The deeper the color of the carrot the more amount of nutrients it has. Do not buy carrots that are overly large; these will have a tough wood-like core and will not be sweet.
Tips for storage
If you buy carrots with green tops still attached, remove them before storage. Store carrots in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag. Do not store them in water for more than an hour, even if they are already peeled, or they will become limp.
When a raw carrot loses its crispness, put it in a bowl of ice water in the refrigerator for up to an hour. Always blanch carrots until almost tender before using them in a stir-fry because they take longer to cook than most other vegetables. Try roasting carrots in the oven; the natural sugars in the carrot will concentrate and caramelize.
Flavors well with
Curry, honey, citrus, mint, thyme, rosemary
Here’s a delicious recipe from our very own Chef Justin. This recipe is one of many that appeared in our The Florida Chef: Flavorful Seasons cookbook.
Florida Wildflower Honey Glazed Carrots
Yield 6 to 8 Servings
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, white part only, halved, sliced small and washed thoroughly
1 pound Florida carrots, sliced
1 cup Florida orange juice
1/4 cup Florida wildflower honey
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
Fresh squeezed lemon juice from 2 small lemons
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek and cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium. Add carrots and cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until carrots are soft. Discard cinnamon stick before serving.
One serving contains the following: Calories 114; Total Fat 1g; Cholesterol 2mg; Sodium 111mg; Total Carbohydrates 27g; Protein 2g. Good source of vitamin A (426%).
TIP: If you can’t find any leeks, you can substitute sliced onion.